New Person, New Paragraph

Rebecca Vance:

This is so important for all of us “newbies” to understand. Great explanation by Christine Campbell. Please read on! :)

Originally posted on cicampbellblog:


It is a long time since I was at school and I know things change a lot over the years, but has English grammar really changed that much? New words, yes. New sentence structure, not so much.

So what is the problem?

There is one problem I seem to keep coming across in the books I beta read, edit, proofread, review or just read for pleasure, and that is a basic rule of writing that gets broken all the time.

When to start a new paragraph.

I’m beginning to realise it is not always taught in school these days, or even in college. One lady author I beta read for lately was somewhat embarrassed to tell me that she was a qualified English teacher for many years, had degrees in creative writing as well as English Literature, yet had never been taught the basic rule:

New Person, New Paragraph.


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Guest Freelance Cover Designer and Illustrator Michelle Rene

Rebecca Vance:

Sit back and get comfy, this is a long post, but so worth it! This article is chock-full of information that will help the newbie author. Great resources. Thank you, Chris, The Story Reading Ape! :)

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog:

A Cover Designers Story

Hi, my name is Michelle Rene and I am a freelance cover designer and illustrator. I started a little over a year ago when my daughter had been moved away for college for a while and I found myself missing my creative side and a lot of extra time on my hands. I just started sketching again one day, drawing a friend, it turned out I still had some skills and I was surprised. I started a twitter account to share my artwork privately, away from friends and family, just to see what sort of reaction I would get and also find some outside inspiration.

It only took about two months and I was noticing that there were a multitude of indie authors on twitter and lots of them were sharing my work and had become followers. An old dream of mine sprang to mind and…

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Review of The Kure by Jaye Francis

The Kure

Hi there! I finally have a new review! Ta-da! This is a horror story with a romantic element by Jaye Francis. This tale introduces us to the main character, John Tyler. It is set in 1865. Poor John has a dilemma of the medical nature. He has to make a choice out of two possible solutions, and neither are savory. We must remember at this time in history, medicine was still very primitive. The doctor tells him that he must use leeches to cure the lesions on his manhood, or it will fall off. Horrified, he begs the doctor for another solution. The doctor tells him about an ancient solution in a book but it was dangerous and he could possibly lose his soul. He is adamant to try it, so reluctantly the doctor shares with him The Kure. This involves finding a virgin, who, on her 18th birthday, will put the member in her mouth until the burning goes away, or to run naked through the rain with a female no more than 6 years his junior, that has no idea of his affliction. This is where Sarah Sullivan comes in. He finds her on a birthday registry and goes to her home to see how he can approach her about this. Will she help him or be horrified? He is running out of time.

Ok, I don’t want to tell any more of the plot to you. For the outcome, you must read the book.

Now, for my thoughts. If you are on Goodreads, you may have noticed that I finished this book some time ago. I noted then that I was conflicted, and that is the reason for my delay in this review. There was some great suspense and wonderful description, and the grammar and typos were not an issue at all. I like horror, mind you, but I have to admit that this subject matter did gross me out. That is an aside however. My main problem with the book was one of plausibility. I don’t believe, even in a spell book, that this would be an option. In that time, it would be virtually impossible to find a willing participant, especially under the conditions it required. I have this in my Kindle, and I could only read a few paragraphs at a time before I had to put it aside. This is not a good sign. I just couldn’t like or recommend this book. Maybe you will like it. Definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart.

In full disclosure, I was provided a free copy by the author for this review.

I give this book this many smiles: :) :)

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?

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To All Book Reviewers – A Thank You

Rebecca Vance:

Such a heartfelt post, thank you Dylan! I love reviewing but it does take a lot of time, especially since I am working on my own debut novel. I apologize for the infrequency of my posts because of this. Sometimes I do wonder if it is appreciated, because many times I never hear from the author. Thanks again! :)

Originally posted on Suffolk Scribblings:

Thank you

Writing book reviews is tough. It doesn’t matter whether it is a couple of lines and a rating, or a well thought out essay, it takes effort for a reviewer to translate all the emotions and experiences they’ve just felt and translate it into something concise, considered and heartfelt. Many authors complain about how difficult it is to write a plot synopsis or promotional blurb, but it can be just as difficult for reviewers to condense everything they’ve experienced, complete with explanation and reasoning, into a few paragraphs. And then there is the worry about the reaction. Every author understands the anxiety of letting their work go, wondering if people will love or hate what they’ve written, but it is exactly the same for a reviewer, especially if they didn’t enjoy the work they are reviewing.

Some, lucky few, get paid to review books, but most book reviewers do it for free. And this is important for authors to remember…

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Further Thoughts on One Star Reviews

Rebecca Vance:

This post is from another reviewer with excellent points on reviews. I hope you will read this and get a better understanding of what to expect. I agree with her wholeheartedly. :)

Originally posted on The Mad Reviewer:

After Saturday’s lively discussion some interesting points were brought up in the comment thread that I’d like to address while talking about some of the wider talking points surrounding one star reviews.  It’s in no particular order but I think it is important to address some of these today:

Author Bashing Most reviewers aren’t targeting you personally. There’s a difference between criticizing a product and criticizing the person behind the product, which I consider author-bashing.

1.  Giving a one star review does not mean you’re being rude or disrespecting the effort the author put into a book.

Unless you’re author-bashing I see no reason why a one star review can be considered rude as long as it’s your honest opinion and aren’t utterly reveling in taking down the book.  When I do a book review I generally try to follow a format where I point out what I liked/disliked and why (generally)…

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The First Review of 2015: Deadly Pleasures

Deadly Pleasures Cover

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wow, can you believe it? It’s already 2015! The years keep flying past us. Those of you familiar with my blog, may have noticed that two pages have been deleted. The Publishers Directory and the Blog Exchange were deleted due to the death of the sponsor of both pages. Maurice was a wonderful guy and a great help to new and aspiring authors and he will be missed.

Ok, on to this new year. The first review is Mary Firmin’s debut novel, Deadly Pleasures. The author provided me with a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest, impartial review.

This is a very well done romantic mystery from the dark side. Megan Riley is a divorced woman coming to terms with some personal demons as she struggles with the poor economy and a real estate business. She and her three best friends, tired of their cheating husbands and boyfriends, decide to turn the tables. All members of the Bayside Yacht Club, they agree to hire a “boytoy” by the name of Michael Harrington. Little do they know, he is the prime suspect in the grisly bondage murders. She soon finds herself in the murder investigation and falling for the detective in charge, Matt Donovan. There are elements of bondage, torture and sadism and many suspects other than Michael. Some may be closer than she knows!

Ok, that is all I am going to say. I will not give away any spoilers!

In my opinion, Ms. Firmin handled this extremely well. The pacing was just right, slow enough to give you a chance to think but fast enough to keep your heart racing. The subject of bondage and sexual content was tastefully described and wouldn’t damage the sensibilities of my aunt Mabel. What I found very refreshing, was the lack of grammatical errors and typos. This is not inherent solely in debut authors, by the way. Many traditionally published established A-list authors have some that slip by the editors. I usually catch them because that is what I look for in my own writing. I detected none in this novel at all, so my highest high five to Mary for that! In summary, I would recommend Deadly Pleasures to all those mystery buffs out there who like a thrill ride that is a bit off the beaten path. If you like a surprise ending in the bargain, then you will be even more satisfied. I wonder if Mary could tell us if she is planning a series? I would definitely love to see more of Megan and Matt and see where their relationship goes! Check it out here: Thanks, Mary!

My smile rating is: :) :) :) :)

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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